For Sparky and myself, curiosity drives passion which in turn fuels our life's engine. Our passion was capturing the story of both unbuilding the Grace (1929 - 2007) and Pearman (1966 - 2007) Bridges and discovering the unbuilders. It takes a lot of passion to track a project from July 2005 until April 2007 - rain, shine, hurricanes or moving to Singapore. We discovered the joy of discovery learning. Ken Canty opened the front door for us - then Steve Testa, Ponch Billingsley and Mickey Rogers opened many side doors. Below are the highlights of what we discovered, who we met and what we learned.
And a reminder from T.S. Eliot (East Coker from the Four Quartets)
Home is where one starts from. As we grow older The world becomes stranger, the pattern more complicated Of dead and living. Not the intense moment Isolated, with no before and after, But a lifetime burning in every moment And not the lifetime of one man only But of old stones that cannot be deciphered.
The worksite - the Mt. Pleasant Pearman cantilever section
Charge placement. Look for the yellow stipes to locate the charges. If you can remember where these are located, then at the blast time, you will see the cantilever sections break apart at these locations.
The ironworker acrobats who prepared the site: Dan Segovia, David McCracken and Oscar Richards (Iron Workers Local 601). Nice view of C-3, drilled and ready for explosive unbuilding. A bit of backgound. Demolition Dynamics does the structural steel explosives while Mickey and Advanced Blasting Services does the concrete structures. It took me some time to realize that there were two groups involved. Anyway, meet some of the DD guys - belatedly for me, but nevertheless, time to meet another part of the unbuidling team.
(April 6, 7:37 am Singapore time). Oscar just sent me a few photos showing their team and their tools.
The Demolition Dynamics team: Left to right: Andrew Biewer (DD employee), Oscar Richards, ace photographer (Union IW local 601) David McCracken (IW), Steve pettigrew (DD Boss), William Jones (IW), and Stephen Bill (DD specialist) The rest of the names are Jeff Caudill Demolition Dynamics SS (Superintendent Specialist) Randy Ryan (DD) Dan Sagovia (IW). All of the IW's are from Union Local 601 Charleston. A small crew but as you can see they make a big BLAST!!!!!
David - just sort of chillin' a bit
The tools of their trade - a fuse necklace for Oscar, William and David
David and Oscar - before
Dan and David are reviewing the blueprints indicating the locations of charge placement
Dan pointing out a starting point
Oscar (our ace photographer) reviewing the blueprints one final time
Note the partial cut on the girder. Here David is preparing to move to his next position to burn another partial cut
(April 6 2006 Singapore time) - Our team is working overtime (at least working me overtime - its 1:40 am now) Gary Eaton caught the initial detonation event - unbelievable timing!
From the video, here is the ignition sequence
t = 0 msec t = 33 msec
t = 67 msec t = 100 msec
t = 133 msec t = 167 msec
t = 200 msec t = 233 msec
t = 267 msec t = 300 msec
t = 333 msec t = 367 msec
t = 400 msec t = 433 msec
t = 467 msec t = 500 msec
t = 533 msec t = 567 msec
These still frames display the sequence from ignition to its-all-over
After the party - happy ironworkers (check out Stan's grin (left))
Here is a very interesting photo of the base of the cantilever section. Compare the burn marks with the yellow explosive positions in the photo above. Also you can see where Mickey and Ken's team have drilled for the implosion-to-be of C3 (and C4).
A section of the Pearman
The mighty Grace overlooking the lowly Pearman
The ship channel is back with traffic flowing. Sparky took this photo at 9:50 am
After surgical treatment of one of the legs, the jackup barge is back in position - adjacent to C-4. Maybe for ABS to start loading?
A good view of C4 and C3 and you can see where Mickey has drilled them for implosion (Jodi - C4 and C3 are east of C2 and C1 :) )
And from afar - nice work by all - The Internet at its best
Returning to the dock, we always passed T-3, which of course is gone. But in its place is Michael and P-3 and an opportunity to update the progress on Pain-in-the-neck
Note the position of Michael's cab - reducing the pain in the neck
and Michael's hammer - up close.
Nice touch from Sparky - a ride home in his pick-up under the towers of the bridge that Wade, Peo, Marvin, Wilbur, Oliver, Phillip, Lewis, Manny and all the others built.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.
C. Frank Starmer